Introduction to Holland

A foreigner who oversees the flat Dutch landscape and thinks it is boring should think again, says geographer and anthropologist, Jacob Vossestein, in his picture book The Dutch and their Delta.

With over 200 photos on some 300 pages, Vossestein presents the Dutch landscape instead as a piece of art that combines natural elements and human skilfulness.

The first chapter follows a Q&A for foreign visitors: how far under water are we here, how did the Dutch make land from water, what are sluices for anyway, and do cars drive into the canals? Incidentally, they do.

Subsequent chapters present images and background for the various Dutch regions: Wadden islands, reclaimed polders, river landscapes, the heart of Holland, and the islands of Zeeland. As always, Vossestein takes water as his guide. Consequently, the eastern third of Holland, which is plus 2 meters above sea level, remains out of sight.

The pictures are often original and sometimes stunning (the aerial shots in particular), the text well written and informative. Less attractive are the narrow blue and green bands at the edge of each page that contrast with the photos. Moreover, captions are missing from the photos; instead, you’ll have to find the same number (in red) somewhere in the text or on an extra captions page. The book does feature a modest index, though.

Jacob Vossestein, ‘The Dutch and their Delta, Living below sea level’, XPat Media, 2012, 296 pages, € 24.95.



Redacteur Redactie

Heb je een vraag of opmerking over dit artikel?


Comments are closed.